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Hornsey School for Girls and girls' schools in general

(15 Posts)
longestlurkerever Mon 09-Jul-18 12:45:26

Does anyone have any up-to-date insight into this school? It's our nearest, and on paper the best of the ones we are likely to be offered a space at. I have some reservations about same-sex schooling though - it feels quite a weird and artificial environment and seems to send the wrong message about boys being "other". Secondary school is a few years away for my girls (I have two) but I need time to get my head around any more radical options, like moving house or applying for the super-selective schools (long journeys even if we were to get a place).

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LotusInspired Mon 09-Jul-18 12:58:39

I actually went to horsey school for girls I don’t think you should be bothered about it being an artificial environment. It really does depend on the individual child involved, her personal development etc.

At the end of the day single sex schools and mixed schools both have their advantages and disadvantages.

longestlurkerever Mon 09-Jul-18 13:33:23

Thanks Lotus - I'm trying to warm to the idea as in every other way it's definitely my preference to send them there. I am thinking that perhaps in London there are still loads of opportunities to mix with boys in a non-engineered way? And that there would be potentially more scope for changing schools in the 6th form where catchments and journey times are not such a thing if she wanted a different environment at 16?

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JaneR0chester Mon 09-Jul-18 13:48:10

I went to Hornsey many many years ago, it was the making of me.

It wasn't until I left and moved to a co-ed school that I realised how much I had benefitted from being in an all-girls environment. As a teenager I went from a place where girls were all growing up together, some more mature than others, to a mixed sex school where I was suddenly objectified and sexualised (by both the girls and boys). School was no longer a safe place of learning, it became a place of competition whether that was for the boys' attention (against other girls and for the boys). If I didn't join in, I was ostracised for not finding a boy "fanciable" or for not coveting the boy that other girls wanted.

Of course this is just my own personal experience but it has hugely influenced my education decisions for my children.

I now have daughters and I actively chose to send them to a girls-only school. They are thriving and I believe that's partly due to the same sex environment too. There are plenty of males in their lives, they are free to socialise and have male friends (through activities and friends of friends etc.) I don't think any "othering" of males has occurred for my kids.

longestlurkerever Mon 09-Jul-18 13:58:09

Thanks Rochester. Small sample size but it's nice that you speak warmly of the school. I'm not sure I'd be so complimentary about mine and I do recognise some of what you say, though I think there were pros to my experiences with boys at the school too. Perhaps Lotus is right and the thing to do is embrace the positives and mitigate the negatives as best you can.

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Mediumred Tue 10-Jul-18 15:34:28

Hi, we have to apply for secondary school in the autumn so we have been to look round a couple of schools, including Hornsey Girls. It wasn’t massively on my radar, only a handful of kids from her primary seem to go and I was quite happy to send her to Highgate Wood, where we are easily close enough to get in.

However, DP, Dd and I were all really impressed with the friendly, nurturing yet ambitious atmosphere. think DD is looking for a bit of a new start after six/seven years with the same kids and is especially sick of some quite disruptive lads in her class.

I had never put any store by single sex schooling, when I went to uni all the girls from single sex schools were man-mad and DD has no brother to show her what boys are really like. However, I have to acknowledge the advantages of letting girls study without the constraints of worrying about what the boys are thinking/doing.

If she does go (and I’m happy to leave the decision to her) it would only be until sixth form, i’m fairly sure, and we would try to help her develop/maintain her friendships with lads outside school.

One more point about Hornsey is it’s far more ethnically diverse than some other nearby schools, which seems to be a bit of a concern for some but it doesn’t concern us, in fact what is the point of being in London if you don’t want to meet people of differing backgrounds, cultures and experiences?

Good luck with whatever you decide!

longestlurkerever Wed 11-Jul-18 11:54:51

@mediumred thank you for your post - you sound a bit like me so it's helpful to know you were won round by the school. We are unlikely to be in catchment for Highgate Wood otherwise I don't think Hornsey would have been on my radar either - but only because of the same sex thing - totally agree that diversity is a positive.

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longestlurkerever Wed 11-Jul-18 11:58:02

single sex, rather! Though all this "distraction of boys" does rather assume one's children are heterosexual. It seems rather sexist altogether tbh, but I have heard feminists argue in favour.

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user1472377586 Wed 11-Jul-18 12:43:18

I'm in Australia, I don't know the schools you are looking at.

I also don't know if I'm a 'feminist' or not. I look after my children's best interests.

I'm another positive voice for all female education.

Pre-kids I would have said 'oh no, that's sexist or unnecessary, or the world is not single sex so schools should mirror the real world' etc.

We have 3 children - boy, then girl, then boy. We put the children down for various schools when they were little. The eldest (boy) started in a co-ed school and we sent our dd there once she was of school age.

So, our daughter started co-ed alongside her elder brother. It was OK, she was being educated. She learnt to read. She brought home lovely art works.
Once she was in Year 1 she wasn't so happy.. nothing we could pin point. Then her best friend left the school to move overseas.
We had an offer from an all-girls school, starting Year 3.
Spur of the moment, we decided to give the other school a try (on the basis that if it didn't work out we could move her back).

That was the best thing we could have done for her. Absolutely amazing. She is literally a different child. Confident! Willing to try anything, take a risk. That is something worth nurturing in your daughters.

In my opinion, it's not about the 'distraction of boys' (although I agree that this becomes a huge issue for some girls as they hit puberty). It is about freedom. Freedom to just be yourself - total and absolute freedom to learn. To enjoy an education without gender, without having to deal with the complex male-female interactions that occur all the time. Liberating.

Try it and watch your daughters develop.

(My dd has 2 brothers, so lots of male influence and lots of friends of her brothers around. If you are concerned about lack of male influence, enrol her in some hobby with boys. Outside school.)

DailyMaiIisMyBogRoll Wed 11-Jul-18 13:00:09

I loved my own mixed school and was not at all positive at the prospect of a single sex school for my DD, but that’s what she ended up with (second choice). On reflection, it worked out pretty well and she was happy there. I think it keeps them younger a bit longer (no bad thing in this world we live in), protecting them somewhat from all the low-level sexual harassment that, like it or not, girls can be subject to in a mixed school. It allows them to concentrate on their studies, lends a nice sense of girly camaraderie and means there is a bigger pool of potential friends to choose from (easier to avoid the bitchy ones too).
DD had the option to leave and go somewhere else for A-levels but didn’t want to, which says it all really. She didn’t know many boys socially until she was older but has adjusted fine in real life.

longestlurkerever Wed 11-Jul-18 14:29:45

Thanks both - all positive stories so far!

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Notcontent Wed 11-Jul-18 17:29:40

I used to also feel that single sex schools are slightly artificial, but over the years have changed my view.

Mediumred Wed 11-Jul-18 19:54:14

I suppose it’s not just the fact that boys can be distracting because of growing feelings of attraction etc but they do seem more likely to monopolise teachers’ time - both more likely to speak up in class and more like to be disruptive (Obv you will still get confident or disruptive girls at girls’ schools but it might give some of less confident girls chance to speak up etc).

longestlurkerever Wed 11-Jul-18 22:16:19

Hmm yes, though if I'm honest my dd1 can give the boys a run for their money in the confident and disruptive stakes. One to watch as she gets older I guess. As it happens her primary class is vast majority girls so I can give it something of a trial run.

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madeyemoodysmum Wed 11-Jul-18 22:32:45

I'm not keen on all girls though I know nothing of the school you mention.

The one near us has girls going to mixed parties at 14/15 getting up to all sorts with boys at the nearby all boys It seems they will do anything to be noticed.

The kids at the mixed school are happy to be just friends and although some are going out it seems more laid back and more about friendship than lust. (Obvs teenagers so always some lust!)

They may however get a slightly enhanced school day but imo that alone does not outweigh the social and life lessons of being with a mixed class.

I work with many women from Ireland and Australia where single sex is common place and many of those have spoken about how they couldn't relate to men and uni and in the work place.

I don't believe single sex schooling for either sex is helping in promoting women as equals How cannot if we tell them they need to be apart in order to learn. That is not feminism.

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